BROADALBIN - It took the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots about 10 minutes to get going, but eventually they started bringing the thunder.
Fueled by five first-half goals, the fourth-seeded and defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B champions breezed by the Doane Stuart Thunder Chicken, 8-0, in Thursday's Section II Class B first-round game.
"The first 10 minutes was just a warmup," said Tucker Wilcox, who led the Patriots with his second hat trick in as many games. "Other than that, we did fine."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Tucker Wilcox jumps over the slide tackle of Doane Stuart’s Jeremiah Cole during Thursday’s Section II Class B first-round game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The Patriots got things righted early in the first half when Ben Bellandi took the ball down along the left side of the goalpost, beating the Doane Stuart defense and drilled the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Like many of his teammates, Bellandi was working off the rust that comes with not having a game in a week.
"I was rusty," Bellandi said. "We had Friday off and we went light all week. Coming into Thursday, I was anxious to play."
It took another 12 minutes for the Patriots to score their second goal of the game when Justin Marek banged a shot off Doane Stuart goalkeeper Deshawn Speights. Wilcox was there to collect the rebound and put it past Speights for his first goal of the game.
"We scored some nice goals," Broadalbin-Perth coach Brian Henry said. "I think we were wound a little tight at the beginning. We weren't executing the way we normally did in the final third. I think that may have been a product of our first sectional game and having a week off. We've been practicing for a week without really any true competition."
Then in the 26th minute, Bellandi worked his way through the defense on the left side and knocked the ball inside the far post for a 3-0 lead. About four minutes later, Wilcox added his second goal of the game.
Bellandi finished the first-half scoring with about five minutes to go in the half, but this time, Bellandi did the feeding as he sent a cross toward Marek, who finished the play for a 5-0 lead.
"I sat out for a little bit and when I went back in, I got more relaxed to the ball," Bellandi said. "Then, I placed it and knew what I was going to do."
It took the Patriots (14-2-1 overall) a little while to get going in the second half and scored their next three goals in the last 12 minutes of the game.
Wilcox scored his third goal to start the second-half onslaught, Marek added another and A.J. Klemczak scored of an assist from Marek with 35 seconds left to finish the Patriots' trip to the next round.
The Patriots will host Chatham on Saturday night in the quarterfinals. This time, they only will have one day off between games, instead of the seven the Patriots had to wait between the sectional opener and their last game of the regular season.
"We get anxious," Wilcox said. "We want to get out there and play so the shorter time between games is better for us."